Designing for the Planet with Minnie Moll 19th May 2022 | IN JUDGES INTERVIEWS | BY SBID

In this week’s interview with SBID Awards Interior Design judge, Chief Executive at the Design Council, Minnie Moll discusses how the interior design industry can work towards combating climate change and the importance of good design, sharing details about the Design Council’s mission toward more sustainable design practices.

How would you define the value of good design? In what ways can it enrich our lives and enhance user experiences?

Good design makes life better. It makes things easy, attractive, comfortable, beautiful. And often inspiring and joyful. You don’t always notice good design. It’s bad design that gets noticed because it doesn’t work, or it’s ugly. Good design is inclusive design and people centred.

The Design Council launched its’ mission, ‘Design for Planet’. What does this initiative aim to achieve, and how can designers get involved?

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our era. Design has been part of what got us to this place and it has a critical role to play in achieving net zero and beyond. Our Design for Planet mission seeks to support and galvanise the 1.97 million people in the UK design community to put planetary concerns at the heart of their work. Design shapes the world we live in, and designers have huge power and responsibility to use design as a force for good.

sustainable design, Designing for the Planet with Minnie Moll

What are some of the key ways the interior design industry can work to combat the impacts of its operations and meaningfully address climate change?

sustainable design, Designing for the Planet with Minnie Moll

It starts with the brief. Give the planet a seat at the briefing meeting and make sure planetary needs are considered. Being informed and intentional about use of materials – hard to keep up to speed on this I know. Thinking in a circular economy way. How long will this last? Can it be modular and easier to fix/update/refurbish? Understanding the supply chain and sustainability implications of all the elements of a proposed design.

How important is the role of an interior designer when it comes to influencing consumer lifestyles and driving the future of our built environments?

The interior design of the places we live and work has become even more important since covid. We understand even more how important it is for our homes to be a sanctuary – a comfortable and relaxing place to be. And in a hybrid world our workplaces need to be attractive, enjoyable and magnetic places that colleagues want to come into. In both instances great interior design can be sustainable and attractive and aspirational.

sustainable design, Designing for the Planet with Minnie Moll

Finally, what advice can you give to designers entering the SBID Awards?

If design shapes the world, then the design of the spaces where we live, work and play has such potential to shape how we interact with each other, and how we feel. It can inspire and bring joy. These exciting and high profile awards are a chance for the best design to shine so it’s important to showcase the value your entries provide and explain key design considerations clearly.

Questions answered by Minnie Moll, Chief Executive, Design Council.

sustainable design, Designing for the Planet with Minnie Moll

Design Council’s purpose is to make life better by design.
They are an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Their vision is a world where the role and value of design is recognised as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, healthier and safer lives for all. Through the power of design, they make better processes, better products, better places, all of which lead to better performance.